02 October 2013

What I Learned at TKGA, Day 1

I spent the first week of October at the TKGA Fall Show in Concord, North Carolina, just north of Charlotte. It is always fun to attend a show, and this one was no exception.

First off, my roommate for the extended weekend was Jan Stephens. Jan has been involved with TKGA for years -- designing, writing articles, and running the course for certified knitting judges -- but has recently retired. I must say that attending with Jan was great fun. Jan knows nearly everybody, and if she doesn't know someone, she quickly introduces herself. Plus, Jan's just a generally pleasant person to be around. She is also a wonderful mentor, as she knows when to poke me. I probably should have made a “minion hat” for the weekend, as I was grateful to be Jan’s minion. And on the drive up, Jan introduced me to the joys of Cracker Barrel’s Double-Chocolate Coco-Cola Cake. Yum!
Size 10 cotton yarn donated by Universal Yarns
It was Jan who poked me about attending the On Your Way to the Masters Day. This was an all-day seminar with members of the Master Hand Knitting Committee. They helpfully pointed out common pitfalls and how to avoid them. I found the swatch reviews especially helpful. Sometimes when you are working on Master Knitter, it is hard to evaluate your own work. Watching committee members evaluate a swatch helps me to look at my own work through their eyes. Also, talking to other people who have completed levels 2 and 3 is motivating for me. Thank you to Universal Yarns for donating yarn for the day. I had forgotten how many pretty yarns they make, until I saw the box filled with a nice assortment. And a special big thank you to all the members of the Master Hand Knitting Committee, as they were obviously pretty tired by the end of the day!

In addition to classes (posts to follow), there were other distractions. There was a market, of course. My favorite part of the market was the Crochet Design Challenge. Wow! Some of the things crocheters are producing right now are amazing. There was voting for audience favorite, but it was very hard to choose. Some examples: very fine gauge doilies, fine gauge motif dress, complex afghans, wire necklaces, a miniature diorama, and a lamppost and Mr. Tumnus costume for a child who was a fan of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I was sorry the knitters didn't have a great display like that, but delighted the crocheters put their talents so prominently on display.

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